‘Dolly’ Good Time

Spring-Ford Theater wows audiences with production of “Hello, Dolly”


Design by Nanditha Paila and photos by Ashley McClain

Spring-Ford theater’s “Hello, Dolly” production is captured on this page design by Design Editor Nanditha Paila and photographer Ashley McClain.

Ramona Shekhar, Editor-in-Chief

Over the past years, the Spring-Ford Theater Department has hosted numerous plays that remain cherished by many. Every year, students, parents, and family members are eager to see what the cast and crew has prepared for their next musical.

After months of preparing and rehearsing, the Spring-Ford Theater Department debuted their spring play “Hello, Dolly!” on March 3.

The old-time classic “Hello, Dolly!” conveys a tale of wealth, humor, drama, romance, and love. It follows the chronicles of socialite Dolly Levi (Shelagh Kratz), a strong-willed widow, matchmaker, and professional meddler who sets out to New York to find a partner for short-tempered “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vendergelder (Omari Romu).

Levi matches widow Irene Malloy (Sunidhi Srinivas) with Cornelius Hackl (Gabe Peck), Vendergelder’s head clerk and Mrs. Malloy’s assistant, Minnie Fay (Allison Personius) with Barnaby Tucker (Bryce Levin), Vendergelder’s other head clerk.

This musical is a 90-minute masterpiece full of ebullient and spellbinding features that make this production a memorable one for the books from director Alex Cifelli.

The cast of “Hello, Dolly!” gave exceptional performances that left viewers captivated and raving with excitement. Kratz, as the lead, did a phenomenal job exhibiting Levi’s charming mannerisms, elegant poise, and mature persona.

The entire cast masterfully portrayed their characters and delivered stunning vocals. The stellar performances of these cast members were as flawless as the ones seen on Broadway. In fact, I believe that we may be witnessing the next generation of future actors in our own local area. Watching this play on opening night was certainly a thrilling and splendid experience. It is especially entertaining for those who enjoy old period dramedies.

The costume design and wardrobe of the play elevated the enjoyability of cast members’ performances and the production overall, especially the dance segments. Everyone looked absolutely fabulous and lovely in their gowns and suits, fully embracing the 1890s fashion.

Of course, this production wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of the stage crew who did an exemplary job painting and decorating each set, while also hastily directing each cast member to their scene and managing every set change. With a doubt, their continuous persistence and effort was evident throughout the musical.

“The preparation for the musical was so intense. The last week we had rehearsals that were 5 hours long,” explained choir ensemble member Cassandra Dryburgh. “A lot of preparation has to happen at home too, with practicing dances and songs. It takes up a lot of time and it can be strenuous, but it’s all worth it on opening night.”

Along with the gifted cast and crew, the orchestra and band ensemble also raised the bar for the show and took this production to another level through their exceptional musical abilities. This group of talented young artists gave wonderful performances through the direction of 8th grade music teacher and choir director Brandon Perry, along with the brilliant performances from 7th & 8th grade orchestra teacher Ashley Baisch. Their performance and execution enhanced the exuberance of the musical, bringing this production to life.

After years of planning and arranging plays, the Spring-Ford Theater Department continues to provide audiences with heartwarming performances that will forever be remembered and cherished among those in the school community. It represents the excellence of the arts and the caliber of many high school students in the building.

“I love getting to watch everyone do something that they love,” reveals Dryburgh. “A lot of people are really doing their passion in the musical and I see that and it makes me so happy to watch that love for what we’re doing.”